Flashback

I saw your picture in my high school yearbook,
I thought, “Could this really be you?”
That face – it’s been so long.
I must confess I hadn’t thought of you
Until now.

I looked through the window.
I wondered where you were, what you were doing.
I wondered what’s become of you.

I wondered do you ever look through your old high school yearbook?
Do you ever ask yourself,
“What’s become of that crazy kid I knew
When I was in high school?”

The Scenic Railway at Luna Park, Melbourne, is...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I graduated from high school in 1983.

Doing the math, 1983 from 2013, carry the one, that was thirty years ago.

I’ve got a high school reunion coming up this weekend. A thirty year reunion.

Last week I was excited about it and looking forward to it.

This week I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions.

I’ve worked hard at becoming the person I am today. Do I really want to meet up again with the people whose perceptions of me are based on who I was thirty years ago and who can’t be bothered to know who I am now?

Maybe it’s not about wanting to be seen for who I am now. Maybe it’s about wanting to be seen for who I want to become, wanting to not be reminded of my failure to yet become that.

I did actually have fun in high school. I maybe even learned something. I also had disappointments, insecurities, awkwardness. The homework assignments I avoided. The cliques I was never part of. The bullies I was afraid of. The crushes I had that never noticed me or didn’t like me or that I didn’t have the courage to ask out on a date. The snubs, the brush offs, the hurt feelings.

One of the event organizers expressed her vision that this be a night to reconnect with people that our lives took us away from. But maybe there’s a reason our lives flowed along different streams and maybe I should leave the past behind and move on. Do I have anything in common with them other than thirty years ago we were at the same place at the same time?

I know that this organizer has worked hard to make this be the best reunion she can. I know that she has been spending money, paying costs out of her own pocket, hoping that the turn out is good, otherwise she is on the hook for it all. I know that people are traveling large distances to be here. Vancouver. Japan. They are spending even more money to attend. Those are factors worth considering.

The roller coaster goes up. The roller coaster goes down. The roller coaster goes around. I went through a similar ride before the last reunion five years ago. I went anyways, and I had a pleasant evening. I even talked to one of those guys I remembered as a tough guy. A bully. A guy I associated with intimidation. I had worked up the courage to strike up a chat with him. He thanked me for talking to him. Maybe to him I was one of the guys who didn’t like him in high school, who snubbed him.

When I was in university I one day flipped open one of my high school yearbooks. I saw a picture of someone I had known in high school and had forgotten until I saw her photo. I wrote, and later recorded, a song about that moment. I named it Flashback. I think it’s an appropriate timing that I share this song on my blog today. You can hear it by clicking on the embedded video.

Leadership Covenant
Tenet #2 – As a leader I tell myself the truth and frequently ask, “what am I pretending not to know?”
Tenet #5 – As a leader I am compassionate with myself and others. I remember we are all wounded.

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